CHIPPENHAM’S HARRY Meade was at a loss to explain what went wrong after he was disqualified from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials for ‘abuse of horse’ and ‘dangerous riding’, writes RICHARD ANDERSON.

The 25-year-old started his two-pronged approach at the four-star event in positive fashion finishing the first-day dressage in 21st with Midnight Dazzler and 34th with Dunauger.

However disaster struck for Meade while aboard Dunauger during the cross country round with his horse becoming increasingly tired and eventually getting stuck at fence 19.

It took officials nearly 25 minutes to remove Dunauger from the course before he left in a horse ambulance and later reported to be uninjured.

The ground jury ruled that Meade had been guilty of ‘riding an exhausted horse’ and ‘excessive pressing of a tired horse’ with his exploits on Midnight Dazzler also curtailed.

And Meade – who picked up one point on the HSBC FEI Classics series at the Badminton Horse Trials in May –is uncertain as to the actual cause of Dunauger’s breakdown.

“It was really disappointing to finish the way I did and it was a bit of a mystery as to why he ran out of gas on the cross country circuit,” said Meade.

“He has been tested and his bloods have not come back as we would have hoped so it looks like he has a virus.

“It’s disappointing because Burghley is an event I love going to so I would’ve liked to have done well there.

“We’ll know more clearly what is wrong in the next couple of days but I think we’ll be giving him a good rest over the next few weeks and months.”

Fellow Brit Oliver Townend on Carousel Quest inched ever closer to the HSBC FEI Classics title after adding the Burghley crown to the one he won at Badminton.

Meanwhile, Chippenham rider Georgie Spence battled through a tough four days improving up the field to finish 35th overall on Running Brook II.

Spence entered two horses at Burghley but saw Birthday Night eliminated after the first-day dressage before focussing all her attentions on her other horse.

Fellow Chippenham rider Kitty Boggis followed suit on Boondoggle despite lying tenth after an impressive dressage performance.

Boggis’ 2009 Burghley campaign came crashing down during the cross country round as she was thrown out and unable to take part in the final show jumping round.

The HSBC FEI Classics unites the top end of the international eventing circuit - namely the five four-star competitions. The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is the penultimate event in the HSBC FEI Classics.